Kit P

Hike Shropshire's historic hills — Wild Edric's Way

banjoman2008 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Hike Shropshire's historic hills — Wild Edric's Way

Hiking Collection by Kit P

4-8

days

3-6 h

/ day

53.8 mi

6,225 ft

6,500 ft

This fantastic long-distance footpath explores the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) and sticks to historic, rural countryside. Starting in Church Stretton and ending up in Ludlow, the trail takes the long way around, sending you to the towering heights of the Stiperstones and down into the gorgeous valleys that criss-cross the area. The Way passes ancient, crumbling castles, meets Offa’s Dyke, skips over centuries-old bridges and pauses in stunning market towns.

Wild Edric, or Eadric the Wild, was an influential Anglo-Saxon landowner and prominent figure in the uprising against the Norman invasion. He led numerous rebellions in the years after the invasion, mainly in the Shropshire and Herefordshire area, although all ultimately failed. Exploring the lands he so fervently defended is not only beautiful, but you get the impression that, aside from a lack of war, little seems to have changed.

This path is officially 49 miles (79 km) long but with various minor extensions to interesting points, I’ve planned this Collection to be 53.8 miles (86.5 km). This makes it an ideal distance for a walking holiday with plenty of towns to stop in and a mixture of hills and gentler landscapes.

Lanes, fields, open commons, rocky tors and rough tracks all have a part to play in this hike’s terrain. There are some steep elevation changes but nothing too challenging nor anything requiring equipment more than the usual sturdy hiking boots and perhaps poles if you use them.

You can hike the Way throughout the year but late autumn and winter can both bring challenging weather, snow and ice to higher ground. As a result, I recommend you complete this route between spring and the end of summer, depending on what the weather is up to in any particular year. Because this adventure is almost entirely rural, the warmer months bring out the best of the landscape in terms of birdsong, insects and flowers too.

Each stage in this Collection starts and finishes in a place where you can find food and accommodation. There are three YHA youth hostels/bunkhouses on the route but B&Bs, hotels, inns, campsites and private holiday accommodation are easy to find as well.

While I’ve designed this route to lead from Church Stretton to Ludlow, you can just as easily hike in the opposite direction. Both towns have train stations on the same line, with an additional station at Craven Arms. This allows you to arrive by car and return by train after you’ve finished, as an alternative to doing the entire journey by train.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    04:54
    10.3 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,900 ft
    850 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This first section of this majestic footpath features some of Shropshire’s most impressive and rugged landscape. Taking in both the Long Mynd and the Stiperstones, you’ll hike in wild valleys …

  • Intermediate
    04:03
    8.89 mi
    2.2 mph
    625 ft
    1,700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Starting from the heady heights of Stiperstones hill, this stage meanders across some extraordinary landscapes with views across the Shropshire Hills AONB. From craggy hilltops and historic treelines to villages …

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  • Difficult
    05:48
    12.3 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,725 ft
    1,700 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage takes a meandering route to Clun via hidden valleys to gorgeous ridgelines. With 1,725 feet (526 m) of elevation gain and almost the same of loss, this is …

  • Difficult
    05:54
    12.8 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,600 ft
    1,825 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    You have three hills to hike over on this route which means you have plenty of opportunity for lovely views and peaceful valleys in between. True to form, this stage …

  • Intermediate
    03:56
    9.52 mi
    2.4 mph
    375 ft
    450 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    By far the flattest stage of Wild Edric’s Way, this hike includes some gentle hills, peaceful woodlands and a wide array of fantastic historic buildings. Ruins, castles and timber-framed structures …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    5
  • Distance
    53.8 mi
  • Duration
    24:34 h
  • Elevation
    6,225 ft6,500 ft
Kit P

Hike Shropshire's historic hills — Wild Edric's Way